By Edwin D. Arceo

If only life can be as easy as a video game. You go through life as if you’re invincible and when you make a mistake and “die,” and when it’s Game Over, you just press Restart.

This is something like when you get so tired of everyday discouragements, frustrations, and conflicts that sap your energy. Your muscles tense, shoulders sag, blood pressure peaks, and you find yourself in a dead end that all you want to do is give up and wish that everything will just go away and start all over again.

That is not the life that God intended for us to have. He wants us to have a victorious life…an abundant life…a blessed life. But why so much discouraged, disheartened and beaten up Christians today? Let me offer a few insights:

  1. Baggage. These people have a lot of baggage, past sins and its consequences, that have piled up and has not allowed them to recover or too shameful to repent. They’d rather carry this baggage and bear the weight than throwing it away. These people believe that they are better off carrying this burden because they deserve it. My friend, this is not true. According to Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” These baggage cling like lice on your hair or ticks in your skin. They won’t leave you unless you intentionally take them out…but then it may have already done its damage to you. So while it’s still early, lay it aside, your baggage…now.
  2. Guilt. John M. Grohol, Psy. D. describes guilt as being able to, “…kick in for the smallest, most meaningless things in our lives.” Grohol adds, “Guilt is an emotional warning sign that most people learn through their normal childhood social development. Its purpose is to let us know when we’ve done something wrong, to help us develop a better sense of our behavior and how it affects us and others.” Ironically, to some people, guilt is very destructive. That is why Paul in Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” We are free and should live free from guilt! Yes, we make mistakes and sin and cause great consequences to themselves and to others but Jesus still loves us. We just need to come to Him and tell Him why we feel guilty, admit our mistakes and accept His forgiveness that He freely gives.
  3. Unbelief. Beat up people do not completely believe that God can do what He promised in the Bible. They intellectually accept that God is omnipotent (unlimited power), omniscient (infinite knowledge), and omnipresent (present everywhere) but in their hearts, doubt has flooded their entire being. We need to be like the father of the demon-possessed child in Mark 9:23 who said to Jesus, “…I believe; help my unbelief!” Ask God right now to help your unbelief. That Jesus will allow you to see God’s hand at work in whatever circumstances you may be in right now. As you step into the battle for truth, God will supply all you need, and your faith will grow ever stronger in Him. The church needs more “Davids”–men and women ready to be used in defense of the truth against the “giants” of unbelief.
  4. Losses. Some people, when they lose someone or something of great value to them just gives up. They maybe their spouse, sibling, parent or friends, jobs and, to some extent, their pets. When they lose them they find it hard to live life and just throw in the towel…Game Over. They don’t have any motivation anymore to live life. I dare say move on brother! The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose.” There can be no promise better than that.
  5. Regret. Frank Sinatra said he had a few of them. For many others, they have a lof of regrets. Regrets that make them wish that they can start all over again. There are failures that we will regret that makes us despise ourselves, but there are also failures that we learn from and move on, making s commitment not to do it again.

The good news is, our God is also a God of new beginnings. He allows us to make a fresh, new start—not a restart. Jesus does not want us to remain discouraged. He wants us to fulfill His purpose in our lives. Feeling sorry for ourselves does not make it happen. It only makes things workse

If you have been feeling this way: a loser, defeated and not able to succeed. STOP NOW! Psychologist Deborah Schurmna-Kauflin, Ph.D., gives this advice, “If you stay in the negativity and let it define you, then you have been defined by something other than you. You need to define you. This is the only way you will find happiness.”

The Apostle John adds this in 1 John 5:4 – “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” If you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have been born of God! You are destined for victory.